After days of cancellations, VIA Rail says service along select routes in southwestern Ontario will resume later this week.
VIA Rail said it received a notification from CN allowing service along select routes to resume beginning Thursday morning, February 20.
This means all trains running between Toronto–London–Windsor, Toronto–Sarnia and Toronto-Niagara will resume service.
For operational and safety reasons, VIA Rail is advising that trains may still encounter delays. Additionally, the company says between Québec City-Montréal-Ottawa, partial service will resume during weekdays and full service will be offered during weekends.
Since all other VIA Rail services are not operating until further notice, with the exception of Sudbury–White River (CP Rail) and Churchill–The Pas (Hudson Bay Railway), VIA Rail has cancelled all affected departures until the end of the day on Thursday, February 20, and all customers will be receiving a cancellation notice.
The rail passenger service says cancellations are made on a progressive basis, depending on the evolution of the situation. As soon the company confirms a train will be cancelled, passengers on that train will be notified by email and will be automatically reimbursed.
However, due to the volume of transactions that the company processes in these exceptional circumstances, reimbursement can take a minimum of 15 days.
Passengers holding a ticket for which the first trip’s scheduled departure has not yet passed and is no later than Monday, February 24, have the option of autonomously cancelling online for a full refund with no service charges, even if additional segments fall after February 24.
Passengers may also get a refund for a return ticket scheduled after February 24, as long as the first portion of the trip was scheduled no later than that date.
2/2 As well, partial service between Québec City and Ottawa will resume as of Thursday morning. All other VIA Rail services remain cancelled with the exception of Sudbury-White River and Churchill-The Pas, until further notice. To check train status visit: https://t.co/Rh6uUaZKzI
— VIA_Rail (@VIA_Rail) February 18, 2020
The ongoing cancellations have been a result of blockades along train tracks near Belleville, ON., where protestors have been camped out, resulting in both passenger and commercial trains being unable to travel along the routes in Tyendinaga Township, which is near Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory.
The blockade in Tyendinaga Township is one of a few that have recently popped up throughout the country in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en Nation hereditary chiefs, who are protesting the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline project in northern British Columbia.
As of February 18, VIA Rail says 532 trains have been cancelled because of the blockades. More than 103,000 passengers have been affected.